A Nexus Approach to Urban and Regional Planning Using the Four-Capital Framework of Ecological Economics

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Ecological economics views our world as an interconnected complex system of humanity embedded in the rest of nature. It is thus fundamentally a nexus approach. It recognizes four basic types of capital assets necessary, in a balanced way, to produce sustainable well-being of humans and the rest of nature. These include (1) built or manufactured capital, (2) human capital (e.g. human labour and knowledge), (3) social capital (e.g. communities, cultures and institutions, including the financial system) and natural capital (resources and natural ecosystems and their products that do not require human activity to build or maintain). Creating a sustainable and desirable future will require an integrated, systems-level redesign of our cities and our entire socioecological regime and economic paradigm focused explicitly and directly on the goal of sustainable quality of life and well-being with minimal waste rather than the proxy of unlimited material growth. It will require the recognition and measurement of the contributions of natural and social capital to sustainable well-being. It is a design problem on a massive scale. An integrated, nexus approach to urban and regional planning and design must be a central component of this process
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEnvironmental Resource Management and the Nexus Approach: Managing Water, Soil, and Waste in the Context of Global Change
    Editors Hiroshan Hettiarachchi and Reza Ardakanian
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
    ISBN (Print)9783319285924
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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